Those watching the Colorado vs Arizona game had to be experiencing some serious deja vu as Colorado kept getting nailed for personal fouls early in the game. It was the same propensity for getting penalties that derailed the effort against Air Force.
Like the game against the Falcons, the penalties highlighted the fact that the Buffs were not mentally ready to play. Over and over, Colorado's own drives or big plays were negated by a penalty. On the defensive side, they also kept extending Arizona drives with penalties.
Like the Air Force game, Colorado lost a close game to an opponent they should have defeated.
But the news is not all bad here in the Golden Buff land of Boulder. As was pointed out in this Sports Illustrated article, Colorado is only two or three plays away from being undefeated and likely approaching the Top 10. My estimate would be four or five plays, but you get the point.
Colorado has demonstrated an ability on offense to move the ball on everybody they have played. What they cannot overcome is their own penalties and other mistakes.
Three times against Arizona, Colorado had to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns due to penalties or dropped balls. Other times, they had to punt from inside Arizona territory for the same reasons. That's a hard thing to overcome.
Arizona came into the game as the most penalized team in the Pac-12. But they played smart, disciplined football and were only penalized once for five yards. Colorado had EIGHT penalties for 85 yards. That's a hard stat to beat.
Mel Tucker has his work cut out for him. His team has won three times when the CU players have been disciplined on the field. In the two games where they played recklessly, they have lost both times.
It's a short week for the game at Oregon on Friday. Which team will show up? We will see.